When does Progress become counter-productive?
At what point does progress become counter-productive?
Been thinking about this subject for a while… what is “progress,” and does it always mean it’s exclusively positive?
The other day a Hoboken411 reader was lamenting on all these great things that have happened in society. Improvements in computers. Agriculture, you name it. “It’s all great” they shouted.
But how many of you think of the potential big picture ramifications for said “progress?”
Does progress have multiple meanings?
Does anyone ever think about what might just be YOUR individual “option,” but how (as a whole) it changes the landscape in some unforeseen way?
In other words – just because you might find something “good,” or having a “choice” or option because of these so-called progressions – do you ever see the 30,000 foot view?
Let’s look at a few of mankind’s examples of “progress” and try to put the pieces together.
Birth control – Our ability to stave off mother nature has resulted in entire cultures, societies, and national states that will dissolve in the next generation or two…
Entertainment – No explanation necessary.
Financial systems – Fiat money, or “currency” as they call it. This big “progress” we made converting from the true barter system to a paper value system has done more harm than good. Hardly anyone produces anything anymore. Sure, the services industry is alive and well – and probably always will regardless of what method we use to “exchange stores of value,” but most other things are shit.
Science & Biology – The “advancements” of science and biology has given humans the ability to circumvent “nature.” Birth control, as we mentioned above is a huge factor.
Medical – Sure, we could have included medical in the science & biology section, but it deserves its own. While medical is considered both science and biology as well – the whole “pharma” indsudty is it’s onw’ beast.
Industrialization – Independent farming (in America at the very least) is a faint shadow of its former self. It’s now mostly controlled by mega-corporations. Same goes for any major “industry,” or most of the consumer products we buy. Tools. Furniture. Anything anywhere. Most of the things you buy were made by a multi-million dollar corporation that can whip products out with cheap (or robotic) labor, extensive logistical measures, and massive volume. It’s made the “artisan” nothing more than a semi-trendy Instagram fad (ironic isn’t it that old-school creators still need modern tools).
Building / engineering – Fast modes of transport. Condensed living. That, combined with our science & biology have allowed the human population to grow a lot faster than it would have without it. And now we’re at the point where some billionaires are talking about population control! WTF?
Transportation – We can go way back with this one. The invention of the wheel. The sail on a boat. The automobile. Train. The aeroplane. Jet. Submarine, etc. I can see one huge impact: Wars fought 1000’s of miles away from your home country.
Human communications – Have you seen the writing on the wall yet? Human communications have taken a 180 degree turn in the last decade or so. The internet alone was weird enough (who here remembers BBS sites?) The whole internet was an odd “western” style environment for a long time – until things got dicey. Now it’s about constant contact, and “need.” Or is it just “think you need?”
Is Planet Earth at a tipping point?
Some might say that the whole existence of human beings is just one of many temporary phases of this (supposedly) ancient planet.
While some people worry about what color to paint their living room – others are trying to just survive another day.
And we wouldn’t know about the “woes of the world” really if it weren’t for this so-called progress. Something seems inherently wrong that we’re influenced by so many things that are so far away from our direct surroundings.
That so many people invest so much time for “causes” they’d never find out about if it weren’t for the brilliant progress humanity has made. (All while they often overlook local issues that might be more directly important).
Think about the modern problems of today – and ask yourself if we’d have them if we didn’t make progress as detailed above?
Progress does have a melting point in our opinion.